5 ways to improve office morale
How to keep spirits high in the workplace
Studies show that the average person spends around a third of their life at work, so it’s pretty important to make sure you’re happy whilst you’re there. Here at Point 6, office morale is something we take seriously, and we’re always thinking of ways to keep spirits high even in the long winter months (these winters keep getting longer, don’t they?).
So if your workplace is experiencing a bit of a lull in energy and morale, here are 5 ways to put a spring in people’s steps as we wave winter goodbye for another year.
Structured team building activities can often come across as a bit forced. But what better way to really get to know your work mates than a good old night on the town? Sometimes it takes a change of scenery to get people to open up and bond – and a drop or two of alcohol can always help, if that’s your thing. But regardless of how good of a social lubricant it is, try not to centre the whole occasion around G & Ts – it should be inclusive for the non-drinkers out there.
A great example is an event like Gingerline’s TV Dinners – Point 6’s last group outing. This immersive dining gameshow, where teams compete across four food-based rounds to win tasty prizes, suited everyone. “It’s an old advertising agency cliché that you get more done down the pub” – says our Creative Director, Russ – “sometimes it’s true though – people often come up with all sorts of great ideas when we’re out as a team after work, in a relaxed social situation, when there’s absolutely no pressure to do so”.
Encourage (productive) downtime
With impending deadlines, juggling clients and keeping on top of the hundred other jobs on your to-do list, it can be difficult to find a moment to catch your breath and collect your thoughts. But is constantly working actually that productive? Best-selling author and entrepreneur, Chris Barez-Brown, believes not. He says, “Beware of being too busy. It dilutes you. It may feel good, but it’s not where genius lives”, suggesting that workaholic environments take a toll on your creativity and mental health.
It’s one of the reasons Point 6 has recently introduced ‘Creative Waffle’, a fortnightly sit-down with the agency’s creatives. It gives the team a chance to take a break from client work and talk about all things creative, whether that’s discussing projects they’re working on, swapping tips and advice, or simply chatting about exhibitions or shows they’ve attended in the last week. Wondering where we got the inspiration for the name? Well, no meeting is complete without something sweet to feast on. Which brings us nicely onto…
It’s no secret, food is the way to the heart. And the act of sharing food is as old as time itself. From passing the day’s hunting spoils around the campfire to passing doughnuts around the office, this ancient tradition has changed a lot, but the sentiment remains the same. To share snacks is to come together in communion, to say “I’ve spent some time preparing this and I’d like to give it to you”. Even if you haven’t made it yourself, you’ve spent your money on bringing someone else joy.
With that in mind, is there any better email to receive than your colleague announcing a care package of snacks? It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know your work mates a little better too, especially if someone does bring in something they’ve cooked or baked themselves. Not everyone craves a sugar rush either. At Point 6, we’ve had fruit baskets, gluten-free breads and homemade sausage rolls – something for every taste and diet. So whether it’s cake for breakfast, a scrummy cheeseboard to compliment your lunch or a mid-afternoon mezze, office treats always go down… well, a treat.
Flexible working hours
OK, OK, we know this one might not be possible for bigger companies, but allowing your staff some flexibility when it comes to their shift goes a long way. And just to be clear, we’re not suggesting a complete free-for-all with people coming and going at all hours. But some flexibility makes people feel valued and allows them to achieve the work-life balance that we believe is so important.
It’s something we encourage here at Point 6, too. Going home to visit the parents on Friday? Come in earlier and make sure you catch that train after work. Early morning appointment? Do the later shift and save your holidays. It might seem like common decency, but it’s not the norm at every company. If there’s one thing most adults hate, it’s being treated like they’re still at school. Giving a little bit of leeway and freedom will only make you employees happier and more motivated in the long run.
Talk face to face
With every office armed with email and instant messaging apps, it can be far too tempting to type rather than chat. It’s time to go back to the good ol’ days of face to face conversation. Direct interaction energises people and makes you feel more than a contact in an email address book. After all, our ancestors didn’t spend millions of years evolving into mammalian marvels of communication to be reduced to words on a screen.
Face-to-face interactions aren’t just good for morale either, they’re actually proven to be far more effective when it comes to productivity. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology revealed that an ‘in-person’ request was 34% (very specific) more likely to garner a positive response. More positivity leads to better working relationships, which in turn means better end results – and better end results equals a boost in morale for all.
So there you have it, five tips for keeping the mood in your office light and breezy!
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